By Tim Kowols
The Sturgeon Bay Waterfront Redevelopment Authority has tabled a motion to reach a settlement with the Friends of the Sturgeon Bay Public Waterfront regarding the ordinary high water mark at 92 E Maple Street. According to a release from the city, members of the WRA debated the matter for nearly two hours in closed session before voting 4-3 to table the motion. By tabling the motion, the WRA is ordering for additional action be taken so the city can have more information on what can be placed in the area for development. The WRA is also asking for legal counsel to ask for additional guidance on what happens next.
While no date or time was mentioned in the release regarding the next WRA meeting, the declaratory hearing regarding the ordinary high watermark with the Department of Natural Resources is scheduled for August. There is no time or location set for that meeting. Sturgeon Bay City Administrator Josh VanLieshout could not be reached for comment, while plaintiff Carri Andersson wanted to speak with her fellow plaintiffs and read the release from the city before responding. The settlement was slated to be discussed in closed session during Tuesday’s Sturgeon Bay Common Council meeting.
Full Release From Sturgeon Bay City Administrator JoshVanLieshout:
The Waterfront Redevelopment Authority of the City of Sturgeon Bay took action today regarding a proposed settlement agreement reached between representatives of the City Sturgeon Bay and the Friends of Sturgeon Bay and Carri Andersson, Kathleen Finnerty, Christie Weber, Russ Cockburn, Linda Cockburn and Shawn Fairchild.
After nearly two hours of debate and discussion in closed session, the Sturgeon Bay Waterfront Redevelopment Authority went into open session to vote. There was a motion to table the proposal to settle on the location of the OHWM with the Friends Group.
In their tabling motion, the WRA ordered that additional action be taken to better ascertain the use potential of the area that would be left below the negotiated ordinary high water mark and seek out developers for the remaining property upland from the negotiated OHWM. Finally, the WRA requested special legal council be invited to the next WRA meeting to brief them more thoroughly on the remaining processes and issues. The motion passed 4-3 and the WRA promptly adjourned its meeting.
City Staff will begin working on the directive, in the meantime, the next date of significance is a scheduled declaratory hearing with the Department of Natural Resources for August 3, 2017, the time and place of which is yet to be determined by DNR.